© 2018 Glow Rivera-Casanova

Search
  • Glow

3 Ways to Cope When Life Slashes your Tires.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELISA LONERGAN

Throughout my twenty-two years of existence, I have noticed that life itself is like the stock market. There are ups, there are downs, and then there are just "What the fuck" moments. Moments where you are left breathless and staring at the wall trying to understand how and when life decided that it was time for you to get real humble real fast. In my case, this usually means I'm sick, and or something along the medical aspect of my life because honestly, everything aside from that is a piece of strawberry shortcake in comparison. Alas, I am here to show you how I have somewhat successfully survived these moments.


1. Find your Seinfeld time.

My suggestion is that you should always have something to look forward to. Nothing big, but something small that must happen. It's your thing. Your special time in the day. For example, during my many hospitalizations as a child, I looked forward to a Subway chocolate chip cookie that someone, usually a visitor, would bring a sick child. Mark my words, this shit never failed. There was always someone who wanted to make my life a little bit sweeter, and oh, they did. Although their presence wasn't always welcome, the cookie always was. Now, here's the tricky part. Sometimes this thing that you're latching on to so tightly gets taken away. You can either lose your shit or look for another silver lining. Which is what I had to do during one of my hospital visits when the doctor claimed that any lactose (AKA chocolate chip cookies) would delay my healing process. After moping for a very very long day I noticed that around 8:00 pm there was always a peaceful time when the nurses were changing shifts. There was no poking, prodding, or shaking, and I got to have some peace and quiet for one hour a day. My dad and I started to religiously watch Seinfeld every day at that time. After a while, he started to sneak me a piece of chocolate chip cookie now and then. God, I'm such a daddy's girl.


2. Hunt for some sense of humor.


This reminds me of my brother. When my brother messes up, and he is confronted he gets really nervous and starts to smile or laugh uncontrollably. Although this drives me up the wall it also reminds me that life can be so fucking twisted that you have to laugh to stop yourself from crying because it's just so unbelievable. Thus, somehow, someway, you must laugh at your misfortune.


Storytime. Once, there was an adorable curious little girl with pigtails and squeaky wheels who went to visit her sweet grandparents. They had a farm... I guess, and they had recently acquired a flock of peacocks that were kept near their sweet little cottage. Grampy had made a narrow pathway for his adorable little granddaughter but it wasn't done yet. Thus, she was told not to visit the peacocks without company. She did not listen and proceeded. She just couldn't wait. She wanted to see the majestic feathers and colors of these creatures. Plus, she was a big girl now and she could take care of herself. Long story short, bitch tipped over when leaving disappointed from seeing the peacocks. Let the record show that the peacocks were females which means they were dull as fuck. Not worth the bumpy trip over. Not to spoil the surprise but the sweet little girl was me and as I laid on my side all I could think was "shit I'm in so much trouble and it wasn't even worth it". As four chickens crossed inches near my face ( I think that is why I hate birds now) I yelled for my dad. However, my baby cousin came out and calmly asked me what I was doing on the ground. I'm such an idiot that I told him the whole story. Keep in mind he was probably still in diapers at the time. I wasn't even scared. All I could do was laugh to myself at how ridiculous it was that I had gotten myself in a tremendous amount of trouble, and ended up on the ground with a baby over some stupid birds. The funny thing is the second time I tripped on my side playing soccer with a basketball (I was ambitious) that little turd was there to save my ass again.



What I am trying to say is you should take scary situations and find the whimsy in them no matter how fucked up.


3. Remind yourself that the phrase "it could be worse" applies to everyone


This is a very sensitive subject to write about and I do not know if I am equipped with the sufficient knowledge to write about this but here I go. Basically, there is always some sad SOB in the hospital that is doing worse than you. So, always remind yourself it can be worse. Hell, you could be dead but you are not, so cling on to that shit if you have to. Granted the grass is always greener on the other side. Don't worry because what the fuck moments will remind you how good you actually have it.


I've had a couple of intense bad surgeries growing up. They started when I was ten and I had to have one every year up until I was fifteen. After every surgery, my center of gravity would shift because my spine would grow an inch or so. Due to this, I had to go to rehab after my surgeries. I was one pissed fifteen-year-old who just lost her ability to swallow. Turns out no one saw that one coming. In my mind my last surgery was going to be perfect, I was going to end up being almost normal, no vest, no sores, just a straight back and a beautiful girl wearing pretty dresses...I'm not saying that didn't happen... there was just an unexpected price to pay. I couldn't eat solid foods for like a year and a half but at that moment I thought that I wouldn't be able to at all. So, you can imagine the sheer disappointment I had towards life itself. I can remember waking up every day to the fake clouds they painted on the ceiling (Between you and me I found them very insulting). There was something about the shade of vibrant pill blue that coted the door nob that made me nauseous every time it moved to this day I am repulsed by that color of blue. However, in one particular morning, the door nob moved because the nurse was about to announce that I was going to be moved to a different room.... goodbye you taunting clouds. When arriving at my new room I not only noticed that the ceiling had rocketships but also I had a roommate her name was Angel. She could not speak and could not move much. She was alone most of the time but the nurses had a type bond with Angel which led me to believe that she has been there for a while. I was fifteen and I didn't want to be nosy but then again I didn't have to my mother was there to do it for me.


Turns out Angel was the daughter of a single mother of seven. So her mom could only see her approximately an hour a day. Angel was the oldest thus no siblings to accompany her in this heavy degrading moment in her life. The reason that she was still here is unknown but like I said every nurse knew her story and her daily schedule like the back of their hand. My point is I wouldn't have been able to go through half of the shit I've gone through in my life if I didn't have the support of my big ass family. When you are disabled it's hard to trust strangers even though you don't really have the choice sometimes. Angel was nine and she was accomplishing this something that me a twenty-two-year-old disabled woman just started doing. Lets put the icing on the cake she couldn't even articulate what she wanted the nurses always figured it out. I admire this woman she got me through the toughest time of my life because she was a true badass in my life and you could see it in her eyes that she knew meh it could be worse so she enjoyed every moment of her day and she would purposely made life very difficult for the nurses.... she would laugh every time she did.



47 views